Cases of “tomato flu” have been reported among children in India. Experts know this

Health specialists are monitoring an outbreak of the virus, which was first recognized in children in the southern Indian state of Kerala earlier this yr, and has now unfold to 2 different areas.

As of July 26, greater than 82 children below the age of 5 have been recognized with the virus, in line with the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

Scientists say the so-called ‘tomato flu’ is a non-life-threatening however ‘extremely contagious’ illness that seems to be a variant of hand-foot-and-mouth illness, though this has but to be confirmed.

Scientists are nonetheless making an attempt to determine precisely what the virus is. Here’s what they’ve stated up to now.

What will we know in regards to the ‘tomato flu’?

Vasso Apostolopoulos, a professor on the University of Victoria, stated his signs have been much like these of dengue and chikungunya, that are frequent in the area, however apparently not.

Professor Apostolopoulos is head of the University’s Immunology and Translational Group and an creator of the Lancet paper.

“It additionally shares signs of hand, foot and mouth illness,” Professor Apostolopoulos stated.

The first two ailments are identified to be unfold by mosquitoes. Hand, foot and mouth illness, alternatively, is a typical infectious illness that largely impacts children between the ages of one and 5 and immunocompromised adults.

According to Professor Apostolopoulos, this virus was gentle and went away by itself.

“But most of the individuals who get this an infection are younger folks and we do not know what occurs in an immunocompromised particular person or whether or not it’ll unfold to the aged,” he stated.

According to him, children are at excessive threat of catching tomato flu, as a result of viral infections are frequent at this age.

Why the identify?

It is named the tomato virus as a result of of the pink and painful blisters on the physique, some as giant as tomatoes and as pink as fruit.

“It has nothing to do with tomatoes or tomatoes,” Professor Apostolopoulos stated.

Given the similarities handy, foot and mouth, the Lancet says that if tomato flu in children isn’t managed and prevented, an infection can have critical penalties in adults.

According to Professor Apostolopoulos, tomato flu shares the identical signs as hand, foot and mouth illness. (scimex)

When was the virus first recognized?

It was first recognized in May this yr in the Kollam district of the Indian state of Kerala.

Local public hospitals reported that greater than 82 children below the age of 5 have been contaminated.

Professor Apostolopoulos stated: “We are nonetheless making an attempt to determine precisely what this virus is.”

There is a research of a 13-month-old and his five-year-old brother who returned to the UK from India who had these signs and examined optimistic for enterovirus, a trigger of hand, foot and mouth illness.

“[It] Coxsackie shares some sequences with a pressure of the virus referred to as A16, however it isn’t utterly equivalent, however it’s in all probability from this sort of virus,” Professor Apostolopoulos stated.

At this level, he stated, tomato flu could possibly be a variant of hand-foot-and-mouth illness, however that “must be confirmed with extra circumstances and genomic evaluation.”

How does the virus have an effect on folks?

The principal signs seen in children embrace excessive fever, rash and joint ache.

Tomato flu blisters are much like these seen with the monkeypox virus in younger folks, and likewise trigger pores and skin rashes and pores and skin irritation.

Intense joint ache is one other symptom of the virus.

As with different viral infections, different signs embrace fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and physique aches.

What are the identified remedies for tomato flu?

There are not any antiviral medication or vaccines to deal with or forestall tomato flu.

According to the Lancet, isolation must be maintained for 5 to seven days after the onset of signs to forestall the an infection from spreading to different children or adults.

It says the very best means of prevention is to “apply correct hygiene and sanitation” and to forestall contaminated children from sharing toys, garments, meals or different objects with different uninfected folks.

Where are the roles?

Cases have been reported in neighboring Tamil Nadu and the japanese state of Odisha, the place children as younger as 9 have been contaminated, though the virus normally impacts children below 5.

Till date, aside from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, no different area of India has been affected by the virus.

“Currently it’s nonetheless remoted and has not unfold outdoors of India,” Professor Apostolopoulos stated.

Preventive measures are being taken by the Kerala Health Department to regulate the unfold of the virus and stop its unfold to different elements of India.

Professor Apostolopoulos says there isn’t any have to panic at this time, however you will need to perceive the prevention, signs and remedy of tomato flu.


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